In the coming weeks, you can learn how to spot wildlife, catch tasty fish, collect garden seeds, and pick up new recipes using local maple syrup. Later, in February, he quickly jumped into an outdoor pool.
Read on for these invigorating tips from this week’s Outdoor Adventures column.
Learn how to spot signs of wild animals on a moderate 1.1-mile hike with Harbor Country Hikers at 2 p.m. Jan. 21 at the Chris Thompson Memorial Preserve, 7592 Warren Woods Road, Three Oaks.
It will be led by Grace Paul, Chikaming Open Lands Education and Community Outreach Coordinator.
From Three Oaks, head north on Three Oaks Road, then left on Warren Woods Road. Look for the preserve on the left after you pass Warren Woods State Park.
Record burbot is caught
It’s a good time to hunt for burbot, which is a good fish to eat.
Scott Skavar of Valparaiso caught a 10.2-pound burbot from Lake Michigan in Porter County on Dec. 30, shattering the previous record set by burbot in 1990 by 2.5 pounds, according to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. He then caught a second perch, which broke the old record by nearly two pounds.
Then, on January 10, Philip Durax broke that state record again with an 11.4-pound burbot, which he also caught on Lake Michigan, Indiana DNR reports. (Duracz also holds the record for the largest lake whitefish caught in Indiana, a 9.34-pounder he caught from Lake Michigan in 2021).
Burbot, with firm white flesh, is the only freshwater fish that belongs to the cod family, or Gadidae. They are usually at the bottom of the lake in deeper waters.
DNR advises anglers to look for burbot from November to April when the water is cool enough to come close to shore to feed.
Exchange seeds and learn about plants
The public is invited to swap or obtain seeds and connect with fellow gardeners at the Michiana Regional Seed Swap from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Jan. 21 at Goshen College Chapel, 1700 S. Main St. , Goshen.
At this free event, participants can learn about seed saving techniques and horticultural practices and browse resource and supplier tables. There will be educational sessions. Speakers include Tony Fleming, a geologist, naturalist, and housekeeper who will explain when and where to plant cover crops and how to manage them.
The Tacos El Portal food truck will be on site from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. McIntosh Lane Bakery will also be available.
Find more event details at www.goshen.edu/merrylea/seedswap5.
Learn to cook with pure maple syrup
St. Joseph County Gardens will teach you how to use pure, local maple syrup to cook different types of sweet and savory foods in a program from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Jan. 28 at the Nature Center in Bendix Woods County Park in New Jersey. Carlisle.
The program will cook Three Sisters soup and make maple candy. Three Sisters soup is often a Native American reference to three crops: corn, beans, and squash.
Space is limited. Registration required by January 25 at 574-654-3155. The cost is $15 per person.
Polar Plunge for Special Olympics
Four Winds Field at Coveleski Stadium will host the South Bend Polar Plunge for Special Olympics Indiana on February 25 at 501 W. South St. And it will be one of 18 Polar Pluges across Indiana to help the charity. Jump pool participants who raise the minimum of $85 will receive a T-shirt, with additional prizes for those who win the most.
Anyone who donates at least $30 or more in local races to win an outdoor pavilion will be entered into the 2023 South Bend Cubs game between April 12 and May 4, including up to 16 tickets and throwing the first pitch.
Registration begins at 10 am, and drop-off begins at noon.
Register or donate at soindiana.org/polar-plunge.
Find columnist Joseph Deets on Facebook at SBTOutdoorAdventures, 574-235-6158, or email@example.com.